If you’re just considering starting your own blog, you may be wondering which of the many blog services will offer the best blogging platform for your needs. If you’re new to blogging, are on a budget and/or are not tech-savvy, I recommend Blogger as the best blog platform for beginners. Here’s why:
It’s free, with no strings attached.
TypePad has some great features, but you’ll pay for them. Their most basic level starts at $4.95 per month (after a 14 day free trial). WordPress.com is free, until you want to do things like include Adsense ads or display your blog on your own domain name. Blogger is completely free.
It’s easy to use, even if you’re a tech-dummy.
Blogger, in my experience, has always been the best blog platform for the tech-challenged. However, their new version makes customizing templates and rearranging widgets easier than ever before. Their XML templates allow for dragging and dropping of widgets, which means you don’t have to know HTML (even a little bit) to make your blog look the way you want it.
You can show up in search results faster.
Because Blogger is now owned by Google, you’ll have a powerful spider on your side. In general, when you start a new website or blog it can take weeks for the search engines to crawl the site, which means you won’t appear in search engine results for a while. My Blogger-powered blogs have all shown up in search results the same day I post my first post. I have one client whose Blogger-powered blog ranks higher than his own website. I have another client whose newly created Blogger-powered blog out-ranked her already popular MySpace blog in less than a week. There is power in having Google on your side.
There are plenty of free templates available.
If you don’t like the classic templates offered by Blogger, you can choose a more attractive template fairly easily. There are many tech-savvy folks online who spend a lot of time creating new Blogger templates and/or converting free templates from other platforms to work for Blogger. If you want to browse your choices for more attractive Blogger-compatible templates, I recommend the layouts at FinalSense, Isnaini and GeckoFly. For more recommendations, check out the Top 5 Free Blogger Templates listing at About Weblogs. You can also Google “free blogger templates” and browse the results.
Of course, there are also some disadvantages of using Blogger, like not being able to file your posts in traditional categories and the inability to “drip” your posts to show up on future dates. For a new blogger on a budget, though, I wholeheartedly believe the advantages of Blogger outweigh the drawbacks. Especially if you’re as tech-challenged as I am, I don’t think you’ll regret giving Blogger a try. If you’re really worried about the decision, you might want to open free accounts both with Blogger.com and WordPress.com. Play around a little bit on both and decide for yourself which is the best blogging platform for you.
Whether you’re a new or seasoned blogger, I’d love to know your experience. Which platform did you use for your first blog? Any advantages or disadvantages? Which do you feel is the best blog platform for new bloggers?